Legal Question in Family Law in North Carolina

Need advice found son after 5 years

My husband lost contact with his son when he was 6 months old. The mother never allowed my husband to recognize the boy and give him his last name. Also, no child support was ever paid since she did not want my husband to have any relation with the boy. We just found them here in our same town (crazy but true) and really don't know what to do since the mother does not want my husband to have a relationship with his son. What can my husband do? Is child support retroactive (boy is 5 yrs. old)? Does my income come into play for child support? What rights does my husband have after so long?

Asked on 5/28/03, 5:48 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

John McNeil Haas McNeil & Associates, PA

Re: Need advice found son after 5 years

There are several possibilities for what your husband can do. There could be very serious consequences for the mother if she has hidden his child from the father. What your husband should do depends on what he ultimately wants. Does he want full custody, split custody or visitation?

The outcome will depend on several factors as well. Why she kept him away from his child, how much effort your husband has spent in trying to locate and establish a relationship with his child, and what are each parties' current living arrangements and abilities?

Before he does anything or lets her know that he knows she's in town, he needs to find a good lawyer who practices mainly family law. There are some very serious and complicated legal matters that need to be dealt with immediately to avoid future negative consequences.

Child support is a different matter. Usually a 3rd party is not responsible for the 1st and 2nd parties' child. If the mother files for child support she would certainly get child support for the future expenses and could get child support for past expenses. In order to get child support for the previous years, she should have to show the court actual expenses that she incurred for the child. Whether your income will count when establishing child support depends on what his income is, what his income could/should be, what the needs of the child are, if there are any other child, and several other factual matters.

As mentioned above, both of these issues are complicated, the custody more than the child support and your husband should find an attorney and talk with him or her about his options.

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Answered on 5/28/03, 6:31 pm

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